Fashion

Initial reaction

Today, luxury is about personalisation. Most big brands have no reservations about hot-stamping the client’s initials on products.  

We have seen Shilpa Shetty Kundra clutch her SSK-engraved Judith Leiber at film launches. We’ve noticed Nita Mukesh Ambani carry her NMA-monogrammed Goyard tote to cricket dos. And we have spotted Ameesha Patel and Gul Panag flaunt their ‘Amy’- and ‘Gul’-inscribed Louis Vuitton handbags on the red carpet.

Today, luxury is about personalisation. Most big brands have no reservations about hot-stamping the client’s initials on products. “It is the next level in luxury. People who can afford it want to stand apart by going beyond what’s offered off-the-shelf. Hence the concepts of made-to-measure and personalised monograms are becoming increasingly popular with luxury fashion brands,” says Sanjay Kapoor, managing director, Genesis Luxury.

Among the clutch of high-end Western brands that Genesis Luxury has brought to India (in Chennai at Luxxe Box in Express Avenue and Bergamo mall on Khader Nawaz Khan Road), Tumi and Canali offer personalised services. While Canali’s made-to-measure provides the option of sewing the client’s name inside the suit, Tumi offers monogramming service on its travel, business and wallet designs.

Under Louis Vuitton’s Mon Monogram personalisation service, clients can get their initials (up to three letters) stamped in two-tones coordinating with vertical or diagonal stripes that come in a wide palette. Through an in-store computer simulation programme, you can even get a feel of how the finished product will look when it is hand-done and dispatched from LV’s workshop in Europe.

Fendi took the initials craze to the next level by rolling out its Selleria Intrecciato collection that created ripples in fashion biz. From music sensation Lady Gaga to supermodel Cara Delevingne, a host of celebrities was immediately spotted with exquisite Fendi bags that had their initials or names woven on them. Rihanna, in fact, announced the arrival of her personalised Selleria Intrecciato on Instagram!

So what’s it with initials that make the exclusivity-conscious gravitate to the trend? Says Sharada Rao, an entrepreneur based in Chennai, “It’s a unique finishing touch to a luxury product. A monogram of your own name on a branded handbag shows you’ve arrived. It’s a discreet way of announcing to the world that you see yourself as a brand. I’m saving money to buy a Fendi with my initials on it.”

While some brands such as Tumi offer these services on a complimentary basis, others do have a marginal mark-up (unlike customisation of a suit for instance that comes at a heavy premium). The turnaround time for personalisation ranges from four days for Tumi to a little over six weeks for Louis Vuitton.

With customers having greater access to luxury brands these days, individuality tops the priority list when it comes to making purchases. “After paying 60K for a high-end brand, people don’t want to see look-alikes. By allowing them to explore limitless possibilities with the palette and get their initials inscribed, the big names in the business of luxury give clients a chance to be different. What’s important is also the fact that clients are involved in the process,” smiles a salesman in the luxe wing at Express Avenue.

The competitive luxury market seems to slowly move from retail to Metail (personalised retail). So the next time you eye an iconic Speedy at Louis Vuitton or an ‘It’ bag at Fendi, make sure you have your initials imprinted on the arm candy. It’s a shot in your stylish arm and will instantly set you apart from the burgeoning number of brand-conscious consumers.

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Monogram matters

- Usually, it’s not more than four letters

- The client is given a range of colour options

- Most brands have a patch where the monogram is stamped

- Hot-stamping, embossing, print and hand-painting techniques are used

- Personalisation can take four days to six weeks


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:53:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/initial-reaction/article5911015.ece

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